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The mated male must practice singing every day

The mated male must practice singing every day

The singer in the picture is just an illustration and is not part of the study.

Females are particularly discerning listeners – they prefer males who don't cheat in their daily vocal training. The study was conducted in birds, but it is likely that some of the findings regarding vocal muscles also apply to humans.

Researchers in Umeå University He focused on studies of changes in the muscles behind singing. The study (published in the scientific journal Nature Communications) is a collaboration between researchers in University of Southern Denmark In Odense, Leiden UniversityHolland, University of VermontUSA, and Umea University.

Similar muscles

But the muscles responsible for producing song are fairly common in all vertebrates, including birds and humans, so some of the findings in the study are likely transferable to us, he says. For every steelprofessor at Department of Medical and Translational Biology at Umeå University and one of the authors of the study.
If song has exactly the same social function among humans as among birds, we must leave it unsaid…

Singing training for mating

It has long been a mystery why songbirds spend so much time and energy daily singing, even when it seems unnecessary and they have no specific details within earshot. Now they think they've found the answer. The males are the ones who train so that they can impress the females with their beautiful song and thus have the opportunity to mate.

A break in practice can be noticed immediately
The male's song – short trumpet blasts – is unique to each individual. Zebra finches live in “marriages” for life. Even if the partner dies, the surviving spouse remains alone for the rest of his or her life.

The researchers studied recordings of zebra finches before and after daily exercise sessions. The changes were clearly visible when the recordings were studied in detail, even though the human ear could not hear them. However, female birds are particularly discerning listeners and will notice immediately if a male has neglected exercise, even for just a day. In experiments, females consistently chose males who had not taken a break from singing training.

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In the study, it can be seen that after a week's cessation of singing, the birds' vocal muscles lost 50 percent of their ability.

Development towards new methods of sound processing

Singing may seem simple but in reality it requires incredibly complex interaction between a very large number of muscles. However, vocal musculature in humans has not been well explored; The larynxes of great tenors are considered a trade secret. Therefore, it is interesting to be able to study the great singers of the animal kingdom so that we can develop clinical voice therapy methods.

The striking thing is that the vocal muscles seem to react in the opposite way to the other muscles of the body during exercise. We can see that the vocal muscles become faster from training, rather than stronger and more durable, for example, how arm and leg muscles usually react when we train in the gym, says Per Stahl.

The researchers hope that the study can ultimately contribute to the understanding of how to improve vocal training and rehabilitation among people. Songbirds, or oscines, are a very large group of birds, including many of our most familiar species such as crows, starlings, thrushes, finches, and finches.

Image above: Zebra finches (Taeniopygia gottata castanotis)